LISBON (ViaNews) – We met with Portugal’s Secretary of State for Internationalization, Eurico Brilhante Dias, for an interview at the Lisbon’s Web Summit which is the largest technology event in the world.

Eurico Brilhante Dias has a Ph.D. in Business Management and was an Assistant Professor at ISCTE Business School. His management experience includes being Board Member of AICEP Portugal as well as serving as an adviser, consultant, and director for other organizations. Politically, he is a Board Member of Portugal’s Socialist Party.

“Portugal is quite a safe country. We ranked fourth in the list of the world’s safest countries. We’re an open country; immigrants are welcome, people from abroad are welcome.”

Eurico Brilhante Dias

Miguel Salvado – The Web Summit will be hosted in Lisbon for the next ten years. Do you have any comments on that?

Eurico Brilhante Dias – That’s quite important because the Web Summit is an event where we can show that Portugal is a country always ready to welcome new investments while building a startup ecosystem that is quite strong and innovative. At the same time, this ecosystem can attract talent from other countries.

Portugal is quite a safe country. We ranked fourth in the list of the world’s safest countries. We’re an open country; immigrants are welcome, people from abroad are welcome. Nowadays, it’s important to have multinational operations where you can find Portuguese, Spanish, English, and German people together, and English can be used to connect such diversity.

“Companies like Google or Claranet, the British company in the cybersecurity sector, are investing and want to invest more in Portugal.”

Eurico Brilhante Dias

Portugal is taking steps in order to have more growth, more jobs, and more talent. We are in better conditions to retain talent and to give to the Portuguese people, who have emigrated in the past, the opportunity to come back. Today, Portugal is offering huge opportunities both professionally and in personal development, while the Web Summit is only part of that.

The Portuguese government has been doing outstanding work on the entrepreneurial side of things. How do you think we’re going to capitalize on having the Web Summit here for the next ten years? What are the steps ahead?

It’s quite interesting because hosting the Web Summit for ten years together with our public policies focusing on the development of entrepreneurship and internationalization, and building a platform to export goods and services, we are taking steps to attract companies to locate operations or part of their operations in Portugal.

“These [Portuguese] companies are not only focused on the domestic market, but they are also introducing new processes and are taking the industry 4.0 as a revolution that they need to implement in their processes.”

Eurico Brilhante Dias

Today, we are opening the Volkswagen software development center here in Lisbon with 300 new employees, mainly engineers. Mercedes and Daimler have also announced investments in Portugal, mainly in this sector. Companies like Google or Claranet, the British company in the cybersecurity sector, are investing and want to invest more in Portugal. We’re doing this effort in order to have, not only startups but also corporations coming to Portugal because it’s a technology-friendly country.

Everybody’s asking why Portugal is doing so well in terms of economy and otherwise. Do you think that’s related to the impact that tourism has been having and the boost in entrepreneurship in Portugal?

Tourism, entrepreneurship, startups, and a lot of businesses exporting goods and services are making the Portuguese economy stronger. Not only tourism, which is giving an important contribution but also goods. The automotive sector is exporting more than ever, not only finished cars but also parts. Secondly, we’re exporting machinery and the traditional products like footwear, textile, apparel, and furniture.

“We have a one-stop shop approach to foreign investment. Our Trade and Investment Agency is that one-stop shop. If you talk with us, we can provide the tools and information needed in order to develop your business in Portugal.”

Eurico Brilhante Dias

These companies are not only focused on the domestic market but they are also introducing new processes and are taking the industry 4.0 as a revolution that they need to implement in their processes. I suppose right now, we’re a competitive economy. We need to do more, we always need to do more, and better, than we’re doing right now. We need to be innovative and creative. Nevertheless, I suppose Portugal is headed in the right direction to be a modern economy which will fulfill the needs of its citizens.

Eurico Brilhante Dias interview about investing in Portugal at the Web Summit. Photo by: ViaNews.
Eurico Brilhante Dias interview about investing in Portugal at the Web Summit. Photo by: ViaNews.

“Portugal has a tax approach that’s quite aggressive. For instance, for all immigrants that will come to Portugal in the next two years, only half the revenue will be taxed.”

Eurico Brilhante Dias

Do you have any good pieces of advice, or the direction to go, to the entrepreneurs doing business in Portugal?

We have a one-stop shop approach to foreign investment. Our Trade and Investment Agency is that one-stop shop. If you talk with us, we can provide the tools and information needed in order to develop your business in Portugal. We help with communicating with municipalities such as Lisbon, Porto, and all other municipalities in the country. We give you all the insights needed in order to develop your business plan. So please come to use the one-stop shop approach because we’re reducing red tape and time so businesses may have better results

Does Portugal have any plans for lowering taxes in the future?

Portugal has a tax approach that’s quite aggressive. For instance, for all immigrants that will come to Portugal in the next two years, only half the revenue will be taxed. Your salary will only be taxed in half. This means that if you are Portuguese who has emigrated recently and you want to come back, please do and you’ll pay fewer taxes, for five years.

In the United States, Donald Trump lowered the corporate tax. Is there any corporate tax cut in preparation in Portugal?

We have different approaches to the corporate tax. We have a tax regime where investment can be deducted from the corporate tax to pay fewer taxes. We also have contractual arrangements with companies in order to reduce the corporate tax and other taxes. If you contract with the state and achieve a certain figure, you’ll be entitled to a tax relief.

Via News TV